PKI Consortium blog

Posts by author Jeremy Rowley

The Latest on Certification Authority Authorization
March 21, 2017 by Jeremy Rowley Attack CA/Browser Forum CAA Encryption Identity OV PKI Policy Qualified
Things are certainly heating up at the CA/Browser with exciting proposals surrounding inclusion of the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) as a subjectAltName otherName, new validation methods, and debates over how the CAB Forum will continue operating. One of these newly passed ballots requires all CAs to check and process a domain name’s DNS Certification Authority Authorization (CAA) resource record prior to issuing a digital certificate. Background RFC 6844 created CAA records as a method for domain owners to specify a policy on which certificate authorities are authorized to issue certificates for the associated domain.

Google Certificate Transparency (CT) to Expand to All Certificates Types
November 8, 2016 by Jeremy Rowley Announcement CA/Browser Forum Chrome DV EV Google IETF OV Policy SSL/TLS
The policy change goes into effect October 2017 A recent Google announcement stated that all publicly trusted SSL/TLS certificates issued in October 2017 or later will be expected to comply with Chrome’s Certificate Transparency (CT) policy or be untrusted by the browser. Since January 2015, Chrome has required Extended Validation (EV) certificates to comply with CT. With this policy change, the Chrome CT policy will also apply to Domain Validated (DV) and Organization Validated (OV) certificates.

SSL Certificate Validity Periods Limited to 39 Months Starting in April
February 19, 2015 by Jeremy Rowley CA/Browser Forum ETSI Policy SSL/TLS Vulnerability WebTrust
In accordance with the CA/Browser Forum Baseline Requirements, effective April 1, 2015, Certificate Authorities (CAs) will no longer be able to issue SSL Certificates with a validity period longer than 39 months. Shortening the validity period to 39 months is the result of much consideration within the CA/Browser Forum to arrive at a duration that allows optimal usability while maintaining the tightest network security. A shortened validity period will significantly improve Internet security by requiring administrators to renew and verify their certificates more often.

Code Signing Baseline Requirements
October 20, 2014 by Jeremy Rowley CA/Browser Forum CASC Code Signing Malware Microsoft Vulnerability
Code signing certificates are used to sign software objects to authenticate that they originated from a verified source, allowing developers to avoid warnings commonly displayed by application software vendors such as Microsoft operating systems and Java. A fraudulent code signing certificate can wreak havoc on networks, spreading malware and adware without restraint. Certificate Authorities are tasked with ensuring that code signing applicants are legitimate entities and provide accountability for use of the certificate.

Revocation – A Cure For the Common Heartbleed
April 28, 2014 by Jeremy Rowley Attack CASC Chrome CRL Google Identity OCSP Revocation SSL/TLS
The Heartbleed bug spurred server administrators worldwide to work closely with Certification Authorities (CAs) in rekeying and reissuing potentially vulnerable SSL certificates. Part of this effort included revoking existing certificates used on vulnerable servers to ensure obtained private keys are not later used in a man-in-the-middle attack against the website. Unfortunately, in recent days, certain news reports and blogs addressing certificate revocation and checking for revoked certificates online have failed to discuss the benefits of revocation, instead focusing on the minority of circumstances where widely deployed revocation is not perfect.

Heartbleed Bug Vulnerability: Discovery, Impact and Solution
April 9, 2014 by Jeremy Rowley Attack BEAST CASC CSR DTLS Encryption Google OpenSSL SSL/TLS TLS 1.0 TLS 1.1 Vulnerability
On April 7, 2014, a vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptographic library was announced to the Internet community. Aptly labeled as the Heartbleed bug, this vulnerability affects OpenSSL versions 1.0.1 through 1.0.1f (inclusive). The Heartbleed bug is not a flaw in the SSL or TLS protocols; rather, it is a flaw in the OpenSSL implementation of the TLS/DTLS heartbeat functionality. The flaw is not related or introduced by publicly trusted certificates and is instead a problem with server software.

Reducing the Impact of Government Spying
April 4, 2014 by Jeremy Rowley CASC Encryption Forward Secrecy Malware PKI RC4 RSA SHA2 SSL/TLS TLS 1.1 Vulnerability
Last year, Edward Snowden, an American computer-specialist working as a contractor for the National Security Agency (“NSA”), shocked web-users around the world by publicizing documents showing that the NSA was gathering intelligence on Internet users. The realization that the US government was gathering sensitive information has led to a worldwide demand for better protection of online communication and data and a general worry about the effectiveness of existing infrastructures. Specifically, some entities have asked whether PKI is still a robust way to protect online information.

ICANN’s Accelerated gTLD Delegation Process and How This Impacts Your Organization
December 18, 2013 by Jeremy Rowley Announcement CA/Browser Forum CASC ICANN MITM Mozilla PKI Policy Qualified Revocation SSL/TLS Vulnerability
After the CASC’s previous letter addressing ICANN’s proposal to delegate nearly 2000 new gTLDs for use on the public Internet, ICANN identified and initiated an extensive study on two significant security issues. Now, based on the conclusions of the studies, ICANN is moving forward quickly with the delegation process, delegating more than 30 in the last two months alone. With ICANN ramping up the delegation process, nearly all 2000 will be delegated under the new rules, with only .

Improving Code Signing
November 14, 2013 by Jeremy Rowley CA/Browser Forum Code Signing Identity Malware SSL/TLS
Previously, we discussed how code signing certificates play a key role in the trust framework by proving the authenticity of software. As mentioned, code signing certificates act as a certification that the software was unmodified after publication. Although current code signing practices greatly reduce the threats of malware and adware embedded in signed objects, the sophistication of threats has risen and there is a need for improvement. When code signing was new, skilled criminal hackers were the exception and script kiddies were the norm.

Securing Software Distribution with Digital Code Signing
October 16, 2013 by Bruce Morton (Entrust), Jeremy Rowley CASC Code Signing Malware SSL/TLS
Code signing certificates from publicly trusted Certification Authorities (CAs) fulfill a vital need for authentication of software distributed over the Internet in our interconnected world. As the commonly referred to “Internet of things” continues to grow, consumers have access to millions of applications for their desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. Creative software engineers provide us with applications to cover any of our potential needs or interests. Cybercriminals and others with malicious intent recognize this as an opportunity and seek to trick us into installing malicious software (malware) — programs that hijack our computers, steal our money, or try to inflict harm.

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